Friday, June 6, 2014

Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne

Since the abduction of her sister, Ivy, Holly has been fighting to pull herself back together.  Such a severe trauma has left a mark on her.  The entire town of Dilmun is protecting her though.  Nothing bad ever happens in Dilmun so it's the perfect place for Holly and her mother to live and attempt to heal from the monstrosity that broke their family.

Detective O'Malley is on the trail of a serial killer.  This sick pervert targets young blonde girls.  Children.  After seeing a particularly gruesome crime scene, O'Malley is sent on 'vacation'.  Following the trail of an overdue library book, O'Malley ends up in Dilmun.

Somehow, this serial killer and Ivy's abduction are related.  How is that possible though when Ivy's kidnapper is already in prison?  Will Holly and O'Malley be able to pull things together long enough to stop this killer from striking again?

If you've read anything by Maggie Shayne, then you already know you're in for a compelling read.  Everything she's written that I've read has held me captivated throughout.  I think Gingerbread Man may even be my favorite.

When it comes to mysteries, my biggest pet peeve is predictability.  If I can figure out who the bad guy is right away, and then have to wait for the heroes to catch up to me, it's kind of a huge let down.  It's like watching the same movie over and over. Yes, we know what will happen and we just have to keep watching to make sure we're right.  Blah and Boring!  I'll be honest, I had this one figured out pretty close to the beginning.  However, there were so many subtle ringers tossed in that I didn't know for sure if I was right.  I questioned myself over and over.  Not only that, I had even talked myself out of my belief that a certain person was the killer.  So, when it finally was revealed, I had this wonderful feeling of elation.  I knew it!  Also, I was surprised that I knew it!  It really was Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the ketchup bottle!  Man!  It could have so easily been Mrs. White or the butler!

The romance portion actually held my interest as well.  Though there are a few 'romantic' scenes, it isn't enough that it detracted from the story for me.  

As for the gruesomeness, it was incredibly well pulled off.  Instead of receiving gory details we're led into a dark hallway full of shadows.  We know basically what's lurking in those shadows, but instead of shining a flashlight on it and rendering it in high detail, Shayne lets our creativity get the best of us.  For me, this is great.  I'm sure that what my brain came up with was much worse than what was actually there.  I love being able to use my imagination while reading instead of having someone hold my hand and tell me exactly what to see.

Though this was released in 2001, don't overlook it.  It's definitely worth the read.  The town of Dilmun and its inhabitants grip you firmly and pull you into their seemingly bright world to help discover the darkness lurking beneath.

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